Barack Obama’s inauguration, about a month from now, will feature an invocation by evangelical Christian Bible-thumper Rick Warren — pastor of the famed Saddleback megachurch and millionaire author of those cloying “purpose-driven” books — about whom I’ve blogged before. Warren is supposed to be a member of the “new” evangelicals … interested in social-justice causes and all of that, theoretically closer to the political Left than more traditional evangelicals. But let’s be honest about this; when it comes to the “big-ticket” issues so near and dear to the hearts of Protestant evangelicals — abortion, gays, etc. — Warren is a slave to the traditional dogma. Any difference he has with other evangelicals is strictly cosmetic.

Having an evangelical like Warren has, therefore, outraged Obama’s supporters on the Left, as one would logically expect:

No backing down whatsoever today from President-elect Barack Obama in the face of some strong criticism from gay and lesbian interests over his choice of Saddleback’s Rick Warren for the invocation speaker at the Jan. 20 inauguration.

As pastor of his mega-church in Lake Forest, Warren was an outspoken proponent of Prop. 8, which passed on Nov. 4 and overturns a court decision allowing same-sex marriage in California.

I wonder when the Left is finally going to figure out that Obama is not really their guy as much as they believe … they nominated and elected him primarily because he had not voted to approve the Iraq War (not possible for him, since he wasn’t in Congress then) … but this did not really make him “their” man, and he’s showing his true colors.

But the question that most nags at me is a bigger one: Why in hell is it even necessary to have a preacher presiding over the inauguration in the first place? Back in the Middle Ages, monarchs were crowned by popes or other bishops, in ecclesiastical rites that in some cases took all day. But I’ve got news for America — our president is not a king; his office is not a sacred one; he is, rather, the chief executive of a completely-secular government. It is not necessary for him to be inaugurated under the watch of the clergy.

Really, it’s not.

So … why the hell is Obama doing it? Could it be because too many Americans are not yet mature enough to let their new president take office without having God paraded around at the same time? Isn’t it time for Americans to grow up?

It’s unfortunate that Obama has chosen to do this; he could have displayed a great deal of courage by refusing to make his inauguration into a medieval sacerdotal rite. But I guess he just was not up to it. Pity.

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